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Watch Dogs Release Delayed To Spring 2014 For All Consoles

Philip Tang ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff

Watch Dogs, Ubisoft’s third person sandbox-styled game first unveiled at E3 2012, has been delayed to spring 2014 according to an official post made today on the Ubiblog.  This will affect all versions of the game: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Wii U and PC.

The game’s original release date of November was poised to make Watch Dogs a standout launch title alongside the new generation of consoles.

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Players assume the role of Aiden Pearce in Watch Dogs, a brilliant vigilante capable of hacking into the computerized infrastructure of Chicago and dominating various technological assets, including control of traffic lights.  Clad in a long, brown jacket and bandana to obscure his face, Pearce fights for his own brand of justice against the city’s entrenched corruption. Kind of like Batman…maybe.

Pearce’s greatest weapon is his smartphone, the device he uses to facilitate his incredible hacking maneuvers.  As shown in the very first debut trailer, Pearce can use his phone to call up incredibly personal information from anybody on the street, provided they have a smartphone themselves.  He can identify their name, age, whether or not they are positive of a certain disease and much more.

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Similar to games like the Grant Theft Auto series, Watch Dogs promises to flesh out Chicago as a rich, open world experience.  Like GTA, there will be plenty of cars and driving — but this time, control over traffic lights and more will be at the player’s disposal to spice up the action.

So why the need for a delay to such a promising game?  Ubisoft explains that they would like to “deliver something that embodies what [they] wanted to see in the next-generation of gaming.” In other words, they just want more time to ensure that the game is as good as it can be.

“We know a lot of you are probably wondering: Why now? We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.”

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In the end, it’s a respectable decision by Ubisoft.  It’s not like they want to delay the game – doing so is likely to have a negative impact on sales, since they won’t be able to ride the wave of the hype that new consoles will bring.  However, the delay will provide time to produce a smoother, more polished game that will live up to its concept’s potential: that’s a win-win for everyone.

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